I always have random catchphrases floating around my head. Sometimes they are just whispers, but other times it seems like someone is yelling inside my head. Sometimes, the “voices” have a mocking, impish tone. Other times they are earnestly pleading with me to do the wise thing. (I’m just going to go ahead and call these collective voices my conscience…I’m sincerely hoping that’s all they are…)
The most common phrases are: “redeem your time,” “gold is refined/purified through fire,” “don’t waste your life,” “don’t let go and let God, trust God and get going,” “forgive much, as you have been forgiven much,” “won’t let go until You bless me,” “you only live once” (and yes, occasionally that’s abbreviated to YOLO, but I try to discourage that), “do the right thing,” “do the wise thing,” “think of others as better than yourself,” “I’m singing in the rain,” “you are the chief of sinners,” “there are no strings attached to grace,” “you’re craving coffee,” “live life in a manner worthy of your calling,” “but for the grace of God, there go I,” etc., etc. As you can see, sometimes it’s in a first person narrative, and other times it’s in third person. You can imagine that when my conscience is telling me multiple things at a time, it becomes quite a cacophony of noise.
Obviously certain phrases are weightier than others, and are highlighted at different times. The one that’s been weighing on me lately is “forgive much, as you have been forgiven.”
I have a little bit of a temper that tends to demand instant justification, both against my brothers and sisters in Christ and against non-Christians. In light of this, I am constantly reminded that justice is not mine to give. It is the Lord’s. He is perfectly just and perfectly merciful. Part of me is happy about that, because eventually everyone will be held accountable for what they do. The part that awes me, though, is that because of Christ’s work on the cross, He has already born the punishment for the sins of all Christians. They, in the end, will not be held accountable for their sin (either real or perceived by me); Christ will be.
This should provide a whole new outlook on life. Who am I to demand justice of my brothers and sisters when justice has already been served? Who am I to play god in my heart and pass judgement on people who have been redeemed and forgiven through the blood of Christ? Who am I to think that I am above it all, and that my standard is the right standard? I should instead be forgiving 70 times 7, meting out grace—not justice—to all those around me. I should be looking forward to spending eternity with some of the coolest, kindest people I know. And of course the only way this is possible is because I also have been forgiven—an infinite amount more than 70 times 7.
“Oh praise the One who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead!”
I want to always bask in these truths so that when I feel that temper wash over me in a hurry, I can crush it with a single phrase. My prayer is that my love for my brothers and sisters in Christ will grow every day.
I am thankful that God uses our consciences to speak truths to us.